As I sit here on this beautiful porch of an old Portuguese house on Saturday, 10th July at 7pm IST, I can’t help but feel grateful about the kind of life I get to live sometimes. It’s definitely not an easy one which is hard to explain but I have to admit that it is a situation far better than a lot of people out there. I am aware of this and I don’t take these things for granted.
I was in Goa in March 2020, just before the pandemic forced a complete nation-wide lockdown. Unaware like most people that the situation would get so serious, I was discussing with my friends about how I would like to move to Goa 2 months in a year and work from there. It sounded like a great plan to me. I would get a nice change of environment from the craziness of Bombay city and it would also help me get into a different kind of creative mindset.
Cut to March 2021. All those plans and dreams went down the drain and we were confined to the boundaries of our apartments. Minimal to no interaction with friends and it all felt very demotivating. The pandemic has had its share of monetary as well as mental challenges for me. That along with self doubt work together to put a dent in your thinking and often lead you to ask existential questions to yourself. This was the case, at least for me. I fought this feeling for a very long time and slowly realized that there was no point stressing about the situation, that it was global and that I would survive this and get back the stability that I was looking for.
While I was tackling pay cuts, an illness that resurfaced after hiding for a long time, lack of boundaries because of work from home, a creative lull, trying to adapt to studying in a new way, etc. one of my oldest friends called me. “Bro, I have a house in Goa. I have been living here since November and I want you to come and stay with me for a bit. Do your thing. Make music, work with clients, whatever.” My reply: “Bro, I am coming for sure!” If I could, I would’ve packed my bags instantly and left but there were a few things that needed to be taken care of before I made this journey.
I needed this. It wasn’t a holiday but it was something far more important to me at this moment. A change of environment. That was the key. There was this fatigue that had built inside of me. It was a fatigue of working every single day from my desk at home. It used to be my safe space but I had started developing a love-hate relationship with it and it was bothering me.
I managed to do almost everything that I wanted done before I left Bombay. I had packed 2 backpacks, one with my video editing/music producing laptop and the other with my cameras and social media work laptop. I had a bag only with my running clothes and accessories and I even carried my egg boiler and Nutella (my go-to pre run fuel) for the workouts. I left for Goa on Sunday, 20th June at 5am IST.
I had lot of things in plan. This was gold for my YouTube channel. I could make daily vlogs, running updates etc. and start work on it all over again. But then I thought of something. I realized that I was getting to drive down to a house in a beautiful spot and live with my friend and just do my thing in the midst of a global pandemic. I almost instantly erased every thought of content from my mind. My heart was full of gratitude for the opportunities and friend’s like Suraj who made this trip possible and also empathy for the ones who were in not a good place right now.
I take empathy very seriously. It’s one of the core values on which I try to live my life and I felt that it would be unfair to showcase my good luck to others while majority of the people were suffering. I was also not on vacation. The 20 odd days that I spent here were mainly spent on video calls with clients throughout the day and completing course deadlines for my MBA program in the evenings. I would sleep at around 10-1030 and I would wake up at 6 and go for my run.
Same routine but a complete change of environment. It made a huge difference especially while dealing with stressful work situations. On my last day in Goa (today), I decided to make a video talking (top) about this feeling that I had and why I had taken this step to not create content.
I truly am grateful for the life I live, trust me its not all lilac and gooseberries (extra brownie points if you get the reference). It’s hard but it’s moments like these when I feel that I live a privileged life and I will never take it for granted.
Heart full of gratitude, head down and keep putting in the work.